The Franklin City Council and mayor have the responsibility to keep the community a safe place and the best quality of life for the residents of Franklin. For several years we have worked hard to retain a fully staffed police department. We have tried to hire a second officer for the past year and a half. Every year it seems harder to provide for our community and what all our citizens want and deserve. At this point, it is no longer feasible to maintain a separate police department. The city council approached the Franklin County Sheriff on working together in the future for enforcement services and policing our city streets. We have had two meetings with the Sheriff’s department and two county supervisors to discuss terms. We are still in negotiations on drawing up an interlocal agreement. The City will work closely with the Sheriff’s department and have a voice concerning patrol and enforcement in our City limits.
In the 2022-2023 fiscal year our police budget was $227,850. We are currently working on the 2023-2024 budget that will be voted on at our Sept. 19, 2023 meeting. While still being in negotiations with the Sheriff's department, we know that the police budget will be reduced very substantially. The only two items in this budget will be 1: The interlocal agreement with the county, and 2: Part-time salary and related expenses for an enforcement officer. We are currently working on a job description for an ordinance officer and on the hiring process for this part-time position. The enforcement officer will be enforcing our ordinances, such as unlicensed vehicles, dogs at large, tall weed and grass issues, etc. Our current chief will be applying for jobs in the area. While we are making this tough decision to discontinue the City police department, it is statutorily allowable to reinstate at a later time. We have followed suit as most communities our size work with their sheriff's department for coverage.
We have researched what communities our size in the area and around the state are paying for their sheriff’s department and we have been discussing and are willing to pay an amount well above what the surrounding like-size communities pay. We are making no demands on our sheriff’s department to provide two full-time officers; in fact, we know it is not practical for the county to provide even one officer 24 hours a day. All of this was discussed at the previous two meetings. Our goal is to be able to work together with the county to ensure enforcement and a safe living environment in our city and to pay fairly for that service. The Sheriff’s department is there for our county as well as the City of Franklin. If you have questions please feel free to call City Hall or any council member. Everyone is also always welcome to attend council meetings as all meetings are public.
Council members include Sandy Urbina, Fred Beall, Kasey Loschen and Dave Platt
The City Council will vote on the measure to dissolve the Franklin Police Department at its September 19th meeting. If passed, the dissolution will be effective October 10, 2023. Please feel free to contact City Hall (308) 425-6295 with questions or reach out to your City Council representative for more information.